The Origami Beneath The Obeche

Obeche tree at Ita-ota

Since childhood, I had always taken solace beneath the Obeche tree at Ita-ota. The coolness and the shade against the scorch of the sun it provides, plus the serenity enveloping its premise, made me grow fond of it. The Obeche tree grew after River Odan transposed to Lantoke, two miles away. The elders say.

I am sitting here today to meditate on the events that unfolded in the last few hours. How on God’s green and sometimes brown earth would my sister be harassed? Molested? Raped? She would almost have listened to the advert of heaven’s cornmeal seller if not for quick intervention…

I was about to loll on my usual spot when a breeze blew past me and dropped an origami gently at the centre of my gaze’s angle of depression. I bent to pick it up, and as it felt the tip of my thumb and index fingers, it opened like a sunflower’s petal; however, it was contrarily. It read: The past is in the present.

As I pulled sidewards to see more. Another piece popped up: A letter from the past.

It pulled up a series of movements, and it began:

I hope this finds whoever sees this well whenever he sees it.

In a hypocritic world.

The sky had always been blue until the Artist painted it black the day I was born. The smoky layers moved past and above each other frenetically, each trying to outpace the other to submit the water it had sipped off the earth’s skin. Without saying a word, they sent the raging and vociferous wind, efuufulele, who would swear at anything to announce its coming. As it began to rain, my mother’s water broke and now was the time to crawl out beneath her skin.

However, she ended up under the knife of Sushruta’s apprentices, who swore a Hippocratic oath. On no account would they use knives; they swore by Asclepius; I was basically not a part of Hippocrates’ whole.

As I was brought out, I knew I had landed in a Hippocratic world… hypocritic.

Both are true.

My mother narrates this with a beaming smile that shows the diastema between her non-protruding incisors. Meanwhile, her eyes become teary, and she wipes them with the tip of her patterned wrapper.

Nevertheless, my birth was as uneasy as my conception.

This is the story of my mother!

*** *** ***

My Mother:

It began when things just began, not today. When the gods were still very much present, each had his non-interferent niche, as they were all regarded as intermediaries of God. This was a little before the referenced reigns of Aresa and Olugbon. Both whose reigns as kings were halcyon and reins of vices and iniquities.

My father blacksmithed. He was also a member of the hunters’ society, Ogunlana established and superintended during his sojourn here. All the members at the time were his apprentices, including my father. He was a natural man with a mystic aura. A mystic with nature’s aura. He hunts with weapons, unlike the head of the Physicians’ guild, Aroni, whose prowess in barks, herbs, concoctions, and magic could be likened to that of Osanyin. While Ogunlana’s hunting precision lies in his weapon dexterity, Aroni revolutionized it with herbs and magic.

My father was a blacksmith and a hunter.

An unfortunate event set in motion a chain of other events months before I birthed my daughter… To be continued.

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